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Off-Premises Sexual Misconduct

Employer not liable for employees' off-premises sexual assault.

Key point. A church may be liable on the basis of negligent selection for a worker's molestation of a minor if the church was negligent in the selection of the worker. Negligence means a failure to exercise reasonable care, and so negligent selection refers to a failure to exercise reasonable care in the selection of the worker. Liability based on negligent selection may be imposed upon a church for the acts of employees and volunteers.

A federal court in Connecticut ruled that an employer could not be liable for an employee's unforeseeable, off-premises sexual assault even though the employee's employment application disclosed a prior conviction for statutory rape. An adult male ("Michael") applied for a position at a FedEx Kinko's store. On his employment application, he disclosed that he had been convicted of a felony. Specifically, he wrote: "1989 equivalent to statutory rape." During ...

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  • March 1, 2009